Tag Archives: race

Take a free three-week trip around France with Le Tour

2015-07-02

The world’s largest public event probably is the annual cycling race around France – Le Tour de France. The first race took place in 1903 when newspaper reporters and photographers followed the race and reported what had happened. The race passed through villages, towns and cities, allowing millions of people to get a glimpse of the event. After television technology had developed into a stage that allowed helicopters to film and transmit live images to national and international networks, the popularity of the race exploded.

As Le Tour de France live television images from helicopters and motorcycles spread around the world, French tourism office realized their value. For years, television broadcasts from the race have been beautifully planned, shot and directed. Not only they show us the exciting three-week race, but at the same time, we can watch beautiful, stunning and funny sceneries from across France.
tour de france, map route 2015
This is how you get your free three-week trip around France: watch Le Tour and keep track on provinces, towns, mountain passes and coastal areas the race passes by. You will see cities (even the Eiffel tower and Champs Elysees in Paris), high mountains, rustic villages, beach resorts, and varying landscape in between them.

In 2015, Le Tour starts from Netherlands, travels through Normandy and Brittany, skips to the Pyrenees and the Alps before ending in Paris. This year’s race misses the central regions and Provence, but that’s always the case – every part of the large country can’t be covered, although the cyclists race 3360 kilometers between July 4th and July 26th. Le Tour web pages have all the details.

Here is a photo gallery from Tour de France races in 1920s and 1930s. Many towns, roads and sceneries are the same as in recent editions of the race. The roads, however, are paved and cobblestones are rare.

a boy with ducks along le Tour de France

Somewhere along the route cyclists see a boy with ducks.

Tour de France, mountain road

Plenty of beautiful mountain views along the route.

tour de france passes through a city

Racing through a city. Cobblestones are rare today.

Le tour racing through countryside in Provence

A scenery somewhere in Provence or Languedoc.

tour de france in the alps

In the Alps.

tour de france racing through a village

Racing through a village. There are no unpaved roads in Tour de France anymore.

trees provide shade for riders of tour of france

A road lined with trees somewhere in Normandy or Brittany.

A large hand-picked photo gallery of old Tour de France images is available in the book Goggles & Dust.

Planning to travel to France? Download a travel guide to southern France here.

The Lighter Side of Traveling in the Far North: A Day at the Reindeer Races

2015-03-26

Lapland is a land of surprises. We all know that Santa Claus has his home in Lapland – in Rovaniemi, Finland to be exact – but it may be surprising to you what reindeers are doing when they are not in duty. Some of the reindeers, it seems, like to race.

Reindeers raced for about 210 meters/230 yards slightly uphill. Two animals raced against each other and the winner proceeded to the next round. Video recorded in Koskikatu in the center of Rovaniemi. It is a pedestrian street, and a primary shopping area of the city.

The race speed is so high that the riders are wearing helmets.

For more fun events, habits and places in northern Europe, check out the book The Lighter Side of Finland by journalist Russell Snyder. He has observed life and people of Scandinavia for years and has discovered the funny side of the northern culture and people.